Photocontrolled release and uptake of a porphyrin guest by dithienylethene-tethered beta-cyclodextrin host dimers

Alart Mulder, Amela Jukovic, Fijs W.B. van Leeuwen, Huub Kooijman, Anthony L. Spek, Jurriaan Huskens, David N. Reinhoudt

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Two photoswitchable dithienylethene-tethered ß-cyclodextrin dimers were synthesized to function as host molecules with an externally controllable binding affinity. The cyclodextrin cavities of these dimers are linked through their secondary sides by a photochromic dithienylethene unit that is connected to the secondary rim either directly (4) or through propyl spacers (9). Irradiation with light switches these dimers between a relatively flexible (open) and a rigid (closed) form. The binding properties of the dimers depend on the configuration of the dithienylethene spacer, as is shown by microcalorimetry performed with tetrakis-sulfonatophenyl porphyrin (TSPP) as a guest molecule. The differences in binding properties are most pronounced for the more rigid dimer 4, which binds TSPP 35 times more strongly in the open form (4 a) than in the closed form (4 b). The values found for the enthalpy of binding (ΔH°) indicate that this difference in binding is due to the loss of cooperativity between the two ß-cyclodextrin cavities in the closed form. Molecular modeling shows that 4 b is not able to bind TSPP effectively in both cyclodextrin cavities. The open and closed forms of the more flexible dimer 9 show no substantial difference in their binding of TSPP. Thermodynamic values indicative of strong binding of TSPP by two ß-cyclodextrin cavities were measured for both forms of the dimer, and molecular modeling confirms that both are flexible enough to tightly bind TSPP. The binding differences between the forms of dimer 4 allow the photocontrolled release and uptake of TSPP, which renders control of the ratio of complexed to free TSPP in solution possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114-1123
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry : a European journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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